Tag Archives: patina

Why Do Custom Finishes Have Variations

Variations in Iron Rust FinishAnswer: Because they are Handcrafted.

All signs and plaques from Atlas have some variances in the final product. These wonderful indications of hand finishing are most prevalent on Copper Verdi, Bronze Verdi, and Iron Rust.

The photo above is a really good representative photo of how custom finishes vary from piece to piece. These Man Cave Signs are all the same except that each one is different from the one right next to it. For more cool Iron Rust Photos visit the Atlas Pinterest Iron Rust Board.

They were all completed on the same day within a very short time span. The process used to patina the iron into the “aged look” was the same on each plaque. So how can each on be different? The patina process contains several steps and several different compounds. Each of these are applied by hand and therefore are not exactly the same.

Additionally, the final polishing step is 100% by hand allowing for even more of the character that we desire.

All metal finishes from Atlas are what we call “Living Finishes“, meaning that they change naturally over time. While all finishes are “Living”, the Verdigris and Iron Rust finishes are more alive than the others.

We hope this was helpful. Here are more information on Real Metal Finishes from Atlas Signs and Plaques.

What Is The Difference Between Bronze, Brass, And Copper For Plaques

Copper, Bronze and Brass Signs and Plaques

Copper, Bronze and Brass Signs and Plaques

All that glitters is not gold
Shakespeare Proverbs
more famous quotes

It’s All About the Alloy

Copper Garden Plaque with Verdi Finish

Copper Garden Plaque with Verdi Finish

Copper is the primary metal that makes up the alloys of bronze and brass. Copper itself is soft and easily hammered to shape. As we all know, copper in its fresh state has a pinkish coloration that surface corrodes quite rapidly showing blue, green, and/or brown oxidation. At Atlas Signs and Plaques, we induce this beautiful corrosion, which we call patina, to give our copper signs and plaques a bit (or a lot) of age and take away that “new penny” look.

Copper was one of the earliest metals utilized and may have been used as early as 10,000 years ago in hammered tools and adornments. Not long after the art of extracting and purifying copper from its ore was discovered (called smelting), the door was opened to casting copper and creating alloys with properties far different from the ingredient elements.

Bronze Plaque with Patina Finish

Bronze Plaque with Patina Finish

The addition of tin to copper makes up the alloy called bronze. Combining copper with tin made copper easier to cast, but more importantly, bronze is much harder than either of the metals that are included in it’s basic recipe. A fact quickly picked up by armament makers. Although tin is the main additive, bronze is a very broadly defined metal and can have many other materials included in the alloy and still be labeled “bronze”. The mix of ingredients in bronze results in quite a variation in coloration. Our bronze has a brownish cast with some copper undertones and is the most popular of our real metal coatings.

Brass is a copper and zinc alloy. Like bronze, brass can have different amounts of the principle additive as well as other trace elements and still be defined as brass. These different mixtures result in varying properties and, of course, variations in color. Our brass is much more golden in color than our bronze.

Statue of Liberty Brass Patina Address Plaque

Statue of Liberty Brass Patina Address Plaque

At Atlas Signs and Plaques, our patina experts utilize chemical compounds (and a little mystery) to bring out the depth and beauty of the metal. Since there is a little bit of magic going on, every piece is a little different, truly one-of-a-kind artwork. Copper, bronze, and brass react to age with some similarities. Our copper patina, bronze patina, and brass patina have very natural brownish tones in the background, while our copper verdi, bronze verdi, and brass verdi have a complex green and blue patina (and even have some other colors visible). The verdi (verdigris) patinas are quite reminiscent of what you might see on antiquities found in coastal regions.

How Good Are Your Signs And Plaques In The Winter

Calypso Address Numbers in Pewter - March 29, 2009, Lake Mills WI USA

Calypso Address Numbers in Pewter - March 29, 2009, Lake Mills WI USA

Frequently Asked Questions pertain to the suitability of LuminOre® and HDU for exterior applications.

According to the LuminOre® manufacturer specs, the process has undergone ASTM testing equivalent to 30 years weatherization. Our experience with the product has been fantastic, both with client projects we have completed over the past years, and with our own informal testing here in Wisconsin.

As an example, we sprayed a design on a piece of limestone and left it to the Wisconsin elements for four seasons of hot, wet, dry, and cold. The coated limestone has been left to fend for itself  and has undergone countless freeze-thaw cycles. It has been left on the wet earth, rained on, baked, and left under salt-laden snow for months. We are amazed, but never surprised, when it emerges unscathed and with only a more beautiful patina to show.

The High Density Polyurethane Foam (HDU) (HDP) we utilize for many of our signs and plaques is well proven as an exterior material with properties far superior to the wood it has replaced on most exterior signage. A good recap of HDU properties is available from this manufacturer.

LuminOre’s patented metalizing process and HDU is a well proven combination for exterior applications. Around the world, from the extremes of Las Vegas, to the salt air of the Caribbean, to winter weather in Lake Mills Wisconsin, performance is assured.